With people around the world, our thoughts at this time are with all those affected by devastating floods. We are waiting anxiously to see how schools, libraries and infrastructure have been disrupted and how as a community we can help in the aftermath. This is not the beginning to 2011 that anyone expected when they closed their doors at the end of the school year.
Events such as this and the 2010 Canterbury earthquake in New Zealand have certainly shown the impact of online social media and crowdsourced, citizen journalism. It has been impressive to witness the community in action through twitter, facebook, flickr, YouTube and mapping tools.
The Wikipedia article on the 2011 Queensland floods is one resource ready for teachers addressing this issue with classes in a few weeks. Starting on 29 December 2010 Wikipedians have maintained updated summaries of the extent of the floods across each river basin, described the response effort and referenced over 80 sources. Viewing the history and discussion associated with development of this article provides a highly relevant starting point for an information literacy activity.
It is amazing to realise that on Saturday 15 January 2011 Wikipedia will turn 10.
Celebrations of the relatively short history of this project are planned for many places around the world, and people are sharing their stories of what being involved with Wikipedia has meant to them.
Our stories: Wikipedia10